Coca-Cola HBC has invested €12 million in a new high-speed returnable glass bottling (RGB) line at its plant in Edelstal, Austria.
The investment from Coca-Cola HBC was supported by a €4 million grant from the Austrian government as part of its fund for beverage companies and retailers to enable a circular economy for packaging, the company noted.
A first across Coca-Cola HBC’s 29 markets, the new bottling line will focus on the 'on-the-go' market and 'at-home' consumption.
Coca-Cola HBC CEO, Zoran Bogdanovic said, "For some years now, Coca-Cola HBC Austria has been at the forefront of pioneering new sustainable solutions, and we’re delighted that our focus on investment, innovation and partnerships are helping us to meet our goal of delivering our drinks in more sustainable ways."
The new bottling line will expand the range of returnable products in the Coca-Cola HBC portfolio to include Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in a 400-ml glass bottle for at-home and on-the-go consumption.
Other additions include 1-litre returnable glass bottles for Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Fanta Orange and Sprite.
The universal 1-litre bottle design for different sparkling soft drink brands helps simplify production and logistics and reduces the sorting and reverse logistics in the market, the company noted.
Bogdanovic added, "Austria is already one of our fastest-growing markets for reusable packaging and this new line will further accelerate this packaging type, which is in demand by our customers and consumers alike.
"As returnable packaging options offer a reduced carbon footprint, this new line in Austria further supports our Net Zero by 2040 goal."
Packaging accounts for 34% of Scope 3 emissions in Coca-Cola HBC’s total supply chain and an essential component of the company’s carbon emissions reduction strategy.